Tesla has received approval to build a huge hall on the Gigafactory site in Grünheide, near Berlin, possibly for the battery factory. Tesla is apparently also planning an expansion for Giga Texas, which is also under construction.
First to Grünheide aka Giga Berlin: the new hall is to have a floor area of 22,000 square metres, making it as big as three football stadiums, as the German publication Tagesspiegel writes. In current drone videos of the construction sites, the foundation work for the hall can supposedly already be seen – the foundation work had already been approved before. The current approval concerns the entire hall.
Officially, it is a warehouse, as a spokesperson for the Oder-Spree district told the newspaper. “We have no information on battery production,” the spokesperson said, adding that conditions had been imposed on the construction work and subsequent operation.
One of the conditions, as RBB reports, is that Tesla is not allowed to use the warehouse in connection with car production. Tesla applied separately to the district for planning permission for the warehouse. If used as part of the car production, it would also have to be part of the approval process for the car factory, which, however, is the responsibility of the state environment ministry. Thus, according to the current permits, components for car production would not even be allowed to be stored in the hall.
Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of the separation from the car factory, the Tagesspiegel speculates that the announced battery factory will probably be housed there. However, Tesla would first have to apply for a change of use for the hall: among other things, because various chemicals are used in the battery factory. There is currently no statement from Tesla about what is planned in the hall.
Tesla is also planning an expansion of its Gigafactory in Texas under the project name “Bobcat”. What exactly will be built here, however, is still unclear. Some US media and bloggers speculate that it could be an abbreviation for “Battery Cathode”. Tesla could rely on Springpower’s technology for this. Another attempt at an explanation comes from the United States. In local slang, a truck without a trailer is sometimes called a “bobcat”, so it could indicate the production hall for the Tesla Semi.
It is known that the industrial site is to be around 60 hectares in size – this is according to documents from the city of Austin. By comparison, Giga Texas covers 113 hectares. The new plant would therefore be significantly smaller than the vehicle factory but would still have considerable dimensions.